Relief for Kamal Haasan, ban lifted on 'Vishwaroopam'

Chennai, Jan 29 (IANS) The Madras High Court Tuesday ruled in favour of Kamal Haasan's banned controversial film "Vishwaroopam" and lifted the ban by the state government.

"The film can be released in theatres tomorrow and the Section 144 order issued by the district collector will be kept in abeyance," said Justice K. Venkatraman in an interim order. The film will be released without any cuts or edits.

"I have watched the film and it has no scenes that hurt the sentiments of Muslim community," Justice Venkataraman had said earlier in the day.

The verdict on the ban was issued after actor-filmmaker Kamal Haasan was requested to settle the matter amicably with the government of Tamil Nadu Jan 28. This was after a judge saw the movie in a private screening Jan 26.

The Rs.95 crore espionage thriller was originally scheduled to release in Tamil and Telugu Jan 25. However, a day before the screenings, the Tamil Nadu government imposed a two-week ban on the film after some Muslim groups complained that some scenes in it portrayed the community in bad light.

Haasan, 58, described the ban as "cultural terrorism" and added: "Any neutral and patriotic Muslim will surely feel pride on seeing my film. It was designed for that purpose."

"Vishwaroopam" was banned from being screened in Kerala, parts of Hyderabad, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh Jan 25, soon after the first show.

The film resumed playing in as many as 40 theatres amidst police security in Karnataka Tuesday morning. It was released with the tagline included in the credits, "All Muslims are not terrorists and the characters depicted in this film are imaginary".

Distributors and theatre owners who had to take off the film fear losses of up to Rs.30 crore and above.

Chandra Haasan, Kamal Haasan's brother and one of the producers of the film, said: "We are anticipating a loss of Rs.30 to 80 crore due to the initial delay in the release of the film. Since it has become a matter of law and order, we worry if theatres will screen the movie or not."

The film was also banned in Malaysia Jan 26, where it released Jan 24, after the Malaysian ministry intervened and requested the distributor to stop the screening the film.

However, according to trade pundits, the film is doing exceptionally well in the overseas region.

"Tamil film 'Vishwaroopam' is superb in the US and very good in Britain. In the opening weekend the film collected Rs.81.23 lakh in Britain and Rs.3.43 crore in the US", tweeted trade analyst Taran Adarsh.

Following the ban in Tamil Nadu, actors such as superstar Rajinikanth, Ajith Kumar, Parthepan and filmmaker Bharathiraja and producer Mukta Srinivasan opposed the ban and urged members from Muslim organisations to allow peaceful release of the film.

Produced and directed by Kamal, "Vishwaroopam" features him in the title role. Other members of the cast include Pooja Kumar, Andrea Jeremiah, Rahul Bose, Shekhar Kapur and Jaideep Ahlawat.

Its Hindi version "Vishwaroop" is slated to release Feb 1.

--

Did you know that you can get stories like this on the Yahoo mail app?
Download it here.

Latest News

  • Salma Hayek pays tribute to Lebanese roots with film of 'The Prophet'
    Salma Hayek pays tribute to Lebanese roots with film of 'The Prophet'

    By Sylvia Westall BEIRUT (Reuters) - Mexican actress Salma Hayek says her new film "The Prophet" was a labor of love that helped her explore her relationship with her late Lebanese grandfather, who adored the book that inspired it. The animated film, which draws on the 1923 book by Lebanese-born writer Kahlil Gibran, tells the story of Almitra, a headstrong girl who forms a friendship with imprisoned poet Mustafa. …

  • Conde Nast eyes digital viewers with virtual reality, scripted shows
    Conde Nast eyes digital viewers with virtual reality, scripted shows

    By Piya Sinha-Roy LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Privately held Conde Nast may best be known as the publisher of fashion, culture and lifestyle magazines such as Vogue, Vanity Fair and GQ, but it is hoping to draw new consumers and advertisers through the realm of virtual reality. Conde Nast Entertainment (CNE), the publisher's film, television and video division, will unveil two original virtual reality series for the upcoming year at its Tuesday presentation before advertisers at the Newfronts, an …

  • Two Elvis jets to grace Presley's Memphis home permanently
    Two Elvis jets to grace Presley's Memphis home permanently

    Two jets that once belonged to Elvis Presley, the Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog II, will have a permanent home at the singer's Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee, Graceland said. The continued presence of the airplanes, a tour staple since 1984, had been in doubt since a partnership that owned them said last July their agreement with Elvis Presley Enterprises was expiring this month and they could be removed. Graceland said in a statement on Sunday it was "pleased an agreement has been …

  • ESPN sues Verizon, escalates battle over new pay TV offering
    ESPN sues Verizon, escalates battle over new pay TV offering

    ESPN sued Verizon Communications on Monday for breach of contract involving a new pay TV offering, as the cable sports network fired the latest volley in a mounting battle with the telecommunications company. ESPN, a unit of Walt Disney Co , said in a legal document sent to the Supreme Court of New York State that Verizon violated its obligations "under certain license agreements" and it wants Verizon to pay. The dispute involves Verizon's new pay TV plan, offering consumers a slimmer …

  • Kim Kardashian pledges support for stepfather Bruce Jenner

    Reality television star Kim Kardashian pledged her full support on Monday for her stepfather, Olympic gold medalist Bruce Jenner, who said last week that he identifies as a woman. Kardashian, 34, spoke out for the first time about her stepfather in an interview on NBC's "Today" show with Matt Lauer saying what is most important to her and her family is that Jenner is happy. "As long as he happy, and he wants to live his life, however he wants to live it, that just makes me happy, and I …

  • Singer Amy Winehouse's father says new biopic misleading
    Singer Amy Winehouse's father says new biopic misleading

    By Rollo Ross and Marie-Louise Gumuchian LONDON (Reuters) - A new film about the late British singer Amy Winehouse is misleading, her father said on Monday, and the family of the six-time Grammy Award winner was disassociating itself from the production. Mitch Winehouse said he was not happy with the way the makers of "AMY", which will screened at the Cannes Film Festival next month, had portrayed him. The film was directed by Asif Kapadia, who won a BAFTA for his documentary "Senna" on the …

  • Verizon says CBS Sports Network will be available on 'Custom TV'

    Verizon Communications said on Monday that content from CBS Corp's Sports Network will be available on its new pay TV offering starting May 1. CBS Sports Network has joined Verizon FiOS's new Custom TV lineup under its sports package, a Verizon spokesman told Reuters. This announcement comes as another sports content provider ESPN, a division of Walt Disney Co, filed a suit against Verizon seeking damages for violating its agreement. Since Verizon unveiled its cheaper, slimmer pay-TV plan on …

  • Russia's Bolshoi corrects oversight, mounts Mozart 'Figaro'

    By Olga Petrova MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Bolshoi theatre has a chequered history with Mozart's ever-popular 1786 opera "Le Nozze di Figaro" (The Marriage of Figaro), having not presented any version of it until 1926. Now the company presents a new staging by director Evgeny Pisarev that is intended to accent the opera's lyricism with a cast of mostly young singers, conducted by British maestro William Lacey. "I am not going to present any radical concepts about how everyone misunderstood …

Video watch

Loading...